Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Shitty at City

Man City 4 - 0 Newcastle Utd

A slick polished performance, uncharacteristic of much of what they have produced this season was, unfortunately, Man City's Easter gift to their fans, as we watched helpless as the defending champions rediscovered their mojo to devastating effect.

Forced to reshuffle our backline in light of our current full-back injury list, the Silver Fox opted to give Danny Simpson a first league start of 2013 and deploy Spidermag at left back, with Obertan Kenobi replacing him further up the park and Vurnon Anita coming in for Mr T in midfield.

Unfortunately, with Anita and Dreamboat in the deep-lying midfield positions, our back four lacked the protection which a more defensive-minded player might have afforded and as a consequence we too often allowed Man City to pass the ball through us, with Samir Nasri to the fore.

Despite facing something of a passing masterclass, we were the side who crafted the best early chance, with Papiss Cisse volleying a diagonal ball from Anita against the foot of the post. Disappointingly, having held on for much of the first half, our resolve collapsed just before the break as first Carlos Tevez and then David Silva found the net in a four-minute spell which turned a decent performance into a poor half.

Identifying the problem, the Silver Fox replaced Kenobi with Perchinho at half-time to give us more bite in midfield, and we emerged re-energised as first Dreamboat and then Moussa Sissoko both shot wide. However, with the home side in this kind of form, it was almost a case of when, not if, they would add to their tally and sure enough they didn't take long, with returning captain Vincent Kompany scoring after we failed to adequately clear a corner.

The coup-de-grace came ten minutes later when Yaya Toure's fierce shot was deflected past Rob Elliot by the sliding boot of Perchinho.

The result itself was particularly tough on our keeper, who made a number of fine saves in what was an otherwise flat performance.

With a number of results elsewhere proving unhelpful, we once again find ourselves with an eye on the relegation fight, when our focus needs to be on Thursday's Europa League quarter-final against Benfica.

Hopefully whatever cobwebs we had from the international break have now been well and truly blown away and we can rediscover the defensive parsimony which has served us so well to date in Europe. If not, Thursday could be a particularly unpleasant experience.

Other reports: BBC, Guardian

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